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African Musical Instruments: History of the Yoruba African Talking Drum

Music has been at the core of African traditions for thousands of generations.  From story-telling, to doing everyday chores, to celebrations, and times of mourning, music has, in one way or another, found its alluring way into every culture in Africa.  Traditional hand crafted musical instruments such as a wide variety of drums, rattles, gongs, and bells were (and still are) significant parts of African music.  In fact, in some African cultures, exclusive musical prowess is often specific to a family/lineage and passed down from generation to generation within the same lineage.  For example, in the Yoruba tradition of western Africa, the special ability to creatively manipulate the “talking drum”—a specialized drum used in communicating one’s thoughts (either in venerating...

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